Sunday, 9 May 2021

Eenie meenie miny mo

  Since lockdown ended and more shops opened up I didn't feel the need to go shopping for the sake of it and have still only been going to the supermarket for food shopping.  But, last Thursday I had Oliver because the schools were off for voting and as I was going food shopping anyway I suggested we have a mooch around the charity shops in the town.  Oliver loves looking at the books on offer, he is an avid reader and is in the advanced readers at school, he comes out everyday with a book tucked under his arm and when I pick him up we have conversations about what book he is reading and what he is going to read next on the walk back home.   I'm glad he is interested in books, so many boys don't like reading so I'm happy he has inherited both his mums and my love of books.

Usually I find it's slim pickings on the books but I was very lucky in the first shop we went in and bought three for 99p


I found The Other Passenger for £1 and got the other three for 99p in another shop.


Oliver was a bit put out because all he managed to find was a Minecraft book but I came away quite chuffed with my bargains.

I hadn't bought any books for a while but the week before these popped up on Amazon so I treated myself.  So together with my charity shop haul I think I'm sorted for reading material for a while.


I've just finished reading Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, (another charity shop find a while ago), and really enjoyed it, If you have read The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry I think you would enjoy this book. 


Isn't it lovely having a nice pile of books to choose from?

-X-

Monday, 3 May 2021

A new venture and a catch-up

 Hello, I'm back.

  I didn't plan on being away from my blog for this long, it just sort of happened and I must confess that I haven't been visiting or reading any of your blogs either, I plan on trying to catch up with all your goings on this week though.

Today is Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK and as is usual on a Bank Holiday the weather is pretty dismal, looks like rain has set in for the day.  We have never been ones for planning outings on BH weekends anyway, when I was going out to work that bonus day off in the week was a chance to just be in home and do what I wanted, plus the roads are always busy at these times and sitting in traffic is not my idea of fun.  Of course this is also the first Bank Holiday since lock down eased and I have a feeling every man and his dog will be heading out, so it's another day at home for us.  I'm resigned to stopping close to home now if I'm honest, I still haven't been to any shops other than to do my food shopping, I think I may be in danger of becoming a recluse!

I can hardly believe we are in May already, we did have a lot going on in April which is probably why it flew by, although I do thing the older you get the faster time goes by.   In April, as well as Easter we also celebrated Arty's 3rd birthday and my youngest daughter, Stevie-Leigh turned 27.


Jenny and Oliver made him a Dinosaur cake


No parties of cause for either one of them but I did get to share in Arty's birthday tea and I went out for a meal with Stevie and Darren for her birthday, (Mark was working away on both birthdays).
 
 For Stevie's birthday she booked a pub meal and of course we had to sit outside to eat, it was boomin freezing and lol. 
I made her a cake and Oliver decorated it.  It was a red velvet cake, but I've just remembered that I never did get to taste it, I'm sure it was ok though.


Stevie and Darren also had a new addition to their family.

This is Ralph :-)


Isn't he sweet! You can see he has already found the comfy blanket on the bed, lol



There has been a few problems since he arrived.  The people they bought him off were not entirely honest about his health. 
When Stevie went the vets to register him and get him checked over it was discovered that he had an infection in his nose and was swabbed for ear mites, (the swab did confirm ear mites the next day).

Stevie did say that the woman they bought him from took him into another room to wash him before they went away.  I thought that was strange and the vet, without Stevie saying anything said that his ears had been cleaned with something.
 
   Stevie messaged the breeder to tell her what the vet had said but she denied that there was anything the matter when he left her and was quite rude.  Once it was confirmed he definitely had ear mites Stevie messaged the woman again, because if  Ralph had ear mites then so must her other cats and kittens because apparently it is very contagious and so thought she should know.   At first she ignored her message but then said she would refund her £150 (of the £200 they paid for him).   

He's settling in lovely now and making himself at home as you can see :-) 


I didn't do much in the way of stitching or knitting during April but I did do a lot of sewing.  



I have thought for quite a while that I would like to open an etsy shop and so this weekend I took the plunge and did just that.  I'm very nervous about putting myself out there and not at all good at self promotion so I don't know how things will go, but if I don't try I won't know will I?   

At the moment there are some project bags and a few fabric baskets/pouch's but hopefully I will be adding more things in the next couple of weeks.  If you would like to pop over and have a look what I've been making you can find me by searching Mayfairstitches on etsy.  

I hope you have a lovely week and enjoy this Bank Holiday whatever you are doing.

See you soon

-X-

Sunday, 11 April 2021

April, sunshine with a chance of sleet and snow

 Well it was all change with the weather after the lovely sunny Easter weekend, it turned bloomin freezing!  We had sleet and some snow one day, enough to cover the grass and cold enough so that it stayed most of the day.  Although yesterday started off bright and sunny by afternoon it had yet again turned to sleet and then rain, ditto this afternoon. 

I did manage to get out for a walk around Haden Hill park yesterday though before the weather turned, there are some more little paths to explore now that the ground has dried up.  

Just look at all the wild garlic.  I shall have to remember to go back and see it in flower.



I also saw a Treecreeper bird,  unfortunately I only had my phone with me to take a photo and I couldn't get close enough, I stood and watched him for ages though and if anyone noticed me standing staring up at a tree they must have thought I was out on day release, lol.

Everything's looking a lot greener since the last time I went for a walk here, It's surprising how much better a walk around green space makes you feel isn't it.



I'm still not feeling inclined to stitch at the moment, I did start another PS Santa but found myself getting irritated with it, so that was abandoned in favour of knitting on my jumper.  I've been watching Keeping Faith on catch-up recently and knitting round and round is perfect tv knitting.  I am almost at the point where I start the bottom ribbing, just got to double check how long I want it to be.

I haven't tried it on yet but I think it will fit, I don't like snug fitting jumpers or tops so I'm hoping there will be a bit of room in it.

I've really struggled again this week.  On Easter Sunday I woke up to the room spinning and feeling nauseous, this happened a couple of times, I got up but ended up going back to bed for a while.  It passed but happened again on Monday.  I've had a tension migraine and not felt good all week.  After a visit to the doctor she told me that the vertigo I experienced was most likely a side effect of the covid vaccine I'd had the week before.  I had really struggled with the decision to have the vaccine and in the end bowed to pressure, now I wish I'd just followed my instinct.  I won't be having the second one.  I said this to my doctor and she said that quite a few people that she'd seen had said that they wouldn't be having the second one either.  I feel better now that I've made that decision, I just wish that I'd not been swayed in the first place.  

-X-

Monday, 5 April 2021

Easter Weekend

The weather obliged for Easter Sunday, we had an Easter egg hunt in the garden for the kids and the girls all came round at different times.  Jenny bought the boys round in the morning, Joanne came with Bonnie and Jacob in the afternoon.  We were able to sit outside as the weather was so nice.    

I cooked a roast dinner which we had at tea time when Stevie and Darren came, they ate theirs in the conservatory, me and Mark ate in the house.  What a palaver all this social distancing is!  But we managed and it was all ok.






As it's Bank Holiday Joanne has the day off work so no Bonnie and nanny day today, Mark is at work and I've done all my chores for today so now I'm going to make the most of the quiet time to stitch, I haven't stitched in a couple of weeks so it'll be a nice change from knitting.

Although it's sunny again today it's much colder than yesterday and very windy, good for drying the washing but not for sitting outside stitching, so i'm plonking myself on the sofa and might not move for the rest of the afternoon :-)

I leave you today with a couple of photos from the garden.



Mark planted these pale yellow tulips in the window box, they are lovely but were only suppose to be eight inches tall, they turned out to be at least twelve inches tall instead!


They make for a pretty view out the kitchen window though :-)



I hope you enjoy the rest of your week, whatever you are doing

-X-

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Making the most of the sunshine

The weather has taken a turn for the better and the outdoor work has begun.  Mark turned over the boarders a few weeks ago and last week I bagged up the rest of the leaves so it's looking pretty tidy out there at the moment.  The grass hasn't had it's first cut yet, I'm hoping that It will be good for another couple of weeks


The large pieris is in flower so should turn red in the next week or two.  After it has done it's thing this year we are going to cut it back, it's over six feet tall now and almost as wide, I just hope we don't damage it in the process.






The camellia has loads of buds, hopefully now the sunshine has made an appearance, so will the flowers.



Yesterday was beautiful so instead of the local park I took Bonnie to Witley Court, It's one of my favourite places and I've shared many photos of before, here and here, if your interested.
Yesterday there was an Easter trail for the kids so we packed a picnic and went off for the day.





On Saturday I went for my Covid vaccination.  I don't mind saying that I've ummed and ahhed about having this vaccine for a while.  I said to Mark that I'd quite happily stay at home for the duration, but we know that not realistically an option.  They say that no one will be forced to have it, but with all the talk of green cards and not being able to travel we are, sort of.

I was dreading having any of the side effects people have mentioned, although, Mark didn't have a single one I knew in my mind that I would.  I had the injection early Saturday morning, It did sting for a few minutes after but then I was fine all day.  Just before I went up to bed I got the chills, much like when you are coming down with a cold, but felt ok, then in early hours I woke up and was boiling hot, I got up for a drink and took some paracetamol, I felt really awful but went back to sleep ok and woke up fine.  I was ok again all day but by 7pm I was so tired I had to go to bed. I've been back to my normal self yesterday and today, although the injection site is quite sore to touch and a little bit red.

It's been another beautiful day here, I haven't been anywhere today, I've had a play date with my new sewing machine, Tuesday is the only full day I get to do what I want to do without interruptions. 

The clocks went forward on Saturday so now we have lighter nights, I have to confess that I'm not a fan of lighter nights, I much prefer it to get dark earlier, then I know it's time to stop, there is a tendency to keep going if it's light and before you know it it's bed time 😂

I hope you have been enjoying the sunshine anyway, I think the rest of the week is predicted to be much of the same.

-X-

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

One year on

I've had a break from stitching this past week, instead I decided to cast on the Flax Light sweater, (or jumper as we call them here in the UK).

I'd already got the drops Nord yarn in stash so the only outlay was some small circular needles.
I'm enjoying it so far and it's easy enough to knit on while I'm re-watching Line of Duty.


Mark got my Easter decorations down from the loft on Saturday so everything looks very Spring like around here now.


Mark groaned when I came back from Asda on Saturday and presented him with my latest bunny addition 🐇🐇🐇


Isn't she cute? Anything that makes me smile at the moment is welcome.

I've decided she is a girl bunny, too cute to be a boy!

I put a few things on my mantle but I do have other bits around, I'll show more next time.

 Well, It was twelve months ago today that the UK went into lockdown and the office I worked at closed like all offices around the country.  We thought it would only be for a few weeks and yet here we still are. 

You will probably know if you have been a visitor here for a while that it was during the first lockdown that I was made redundant.  The way it was gone about was not very nice and people where not who I thought they were.  I'm only in contact with the other woman who worked on reception with me, we text or message each other occasionally if we have something to say, other than that I am not in contact with anyone who I worked with, and that's how I want it.

I don't mind admitting that I was gutted when I lost my job, I've cried, quite a lot, over the last year, I would never have thought being made redundant would have such an effect on a person, it's only a job after all, there are worse things in the world.  But it has affected me in ways I didn't expect, not only did I loose my job I also lost my routine and a purpose to my days, it affected my moods, my confidence and took away my feeling of independence.  We are lucky, my wage was never depended on, it was extra but it was there if needed and it was something I had earned so, yes it did take away my independence.  

I've been struggling a lot these last couple of weeks, I know it's a phase and it will pass but at the same time I know that I'm not the same person I was twelve months ago.  Hopefully along with the Spring flowers a better mood will take over.

I see coffee shops in town getting ready for re-opening on April 12th although the rest of the high street looks apocalyptic, so many places have shut their doors for good, lets hope in time it can recover.

Sorry to end with a moan, but i'm just feeling moany at the moment.

Take care

-X-

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Another week, much the same as the last but with cake

I finished and framed Curious Bunny by Teresa Kogut at the weekend.

I used another frame bought from The Range, they only sell standard sizes and I would have gone for a slightly smaller one given the choice but, I'm happy with how it came out.

I used the glass in this one as I might keep it out all the time, I did place some spaces so that the glass isn't touching the stitching.

(There is shadow on the bunny, the thread colour is all the same)



Sunday just past was Mother's Day here in the UK.  My girls treated me to all my favourite hair products from The Body Shop as well as flowers and some delicious things to eat.  Jenny made me an afternoon tea box and Stevie gave me a very artistic lemon cake, the boys also gave me several bags of my favourite Drumsitck Squashies sweets, yum!   I will have to use all my will power to not eat them all at once, lol.
Bonnie made me this wonderful art work. 


Stevie's artfully decorated cake


Lovely afternoon tea in a box


How lovely and spoiled was I?!!

Yesterday was a Bonnie day, the rain kept off so we met Jenny and Arty at the park


It's really hard to get photos of Arty, he won't look at the camera


The recent heavy rain has left some rather big puddles which they both enjoyed.

We were laughing because Arty is a good 8 months younger than Bonnie but he is so much bigger than her 😄




Bonnie wearing the hat I knitted the other week



Like I said, Arty won't smile for the camera so I had to be crafty to get his photos.

He is such a typical boy, into everything and not frightened to explore, just a perfect lovable little monkey, you certainly need your wit's about you when you take him out though!


Awww he looks so much like Jenny did at this age, except Jenny had curly hair.   Oliver is the spitting image of his dad but Arty is just like Jenny.
 💗

See you soon.

-X-